Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 437, September 30, 2007

"Separation of Science and State"

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by L. Neil Smith

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

Last night, as I was flipping through the channels for something to fall asleep to (I ended up with a DVD), I happened, momentarily, on that collectivist town hall meeting of the air, the Oprah Winfrey show.

During the nanosecond or two that I was compelled to watch as I waited through human reaction time for my thumb to mash the remote control button, some elderly douchebag with a comical goatee and a cartoon German accent, was pleading to Oprah's half-rapt audience, "Let'z ztop usink ze term 'zocialized meditzine'". The sap was trying to substitute what he thought might be a more politically palatable euphemism for it—in exactly the same way that "liberals", having ruined that fine old appellation, switched to the word "progressive", instead.

The old guy clearly wasn't very bright, because he offered, as a justifying precedent for the long-discredited programs he was pushing, the fact that governors of the states afflicted by Hurricane Katrina begged the federal government for help. He called the whole thing "social insurance", but what he didn't mention was that what the governors and everybody else got was Soviet Bulgaria's best—little or no real help, massive, messy interference that will slow the area's actual recovery for decades to come, and wholesale, blatant violations of certain fundamental, unalienable individual, civil, Constitutional, and human rights of flood victims who were already close to their last legs.

Oprah and her "progressive" political buddies like Hillary "Polly Pot, the Deathcamp Dolly" Clinton, and Barack "Bomb Pakistan Now" Kabamma, can't wait for every American to live like that, every day. It may surprise you to learn, though, that to a point, I agree with their pet Marxoid dinosaur: let's stop saying "socialized medicine", indeed. Let's be more spcific. Let's be more accurate. Let's be more precise.

Let's be more truthful.

Let's call the thing exactly what it is: socialist medicine. communized medicine. beat-you-up-and-kill-you-if-you-won't-go-along, coercive medicine. Although how anybody can truthfully call it "medicine"—if they beat you up and kill you if you won't go along—I haven't quite figured out yet, and, apparently, neither have they.

Back when she was merely Queen, Hillary Clinton wanted you jailed for paying your doctor privately. That's right, part of her marvelously "humane" healthcare plan was to have you kidnapped if you made your own arrangements with a physician. And once she's coronated Empress, she now assures us, you won't be allowed to work (exactly when in the flaming hell did we start needing goverment's permission to work, anyway?) if you can't produce proof that you're legally insured.

Liberals—I mean, "progressives"—can be kinder and gentler, too.

Well, I have another counter-proposal, one that goes beyond mere semantics this time. Instead of all this death-threat doctoring, how about pushing through a very long-overdue Constitutional amendment that will call for the same kind of formal separation of science—especially medicine—and government that the First Amendment wisely mandates (sorry, neocons, you're wrong again) between religion and the state?

Of course we'll still need another amendment, one that puts teeth in the highest law of the land, one that would impose a twenty-five- years-to-life term on any politician, bureaucrat, or cop who violates the Bill of Rights (in whatever prison holds the record for criminal violence) and require, should that violation cost the life of any individual, even one of the perpetrators, a death sentence by public hanging?

Look: it isn't that I'm all that much of a Constitutionalist (although some readers believe I am), but these are their rules—especially the Bill of Rights, which was their concession to real human beings in exchange for the power they hungered after so insanely—and by God (or Whoever's on duty), I mean to see that they stick by them.

In one stroke (well, actually, two), we can eliminate the threat of coercive medicine forever and put an end to shabby, threadbare pseudoscientific hoaxes like global warming. In addition, it will end any prohibitions against research involving such things as stem cells—although it will also prevent the government from funding it, as well.

Clearly, it's a win-win kind of thing.

So how do we make it happen? Talk about it every time leftist mediscams come up. Write to newspapers and websites. Call talk shows. Spread the word. Let them know there's resistance now and always will be. Remember that they are all cowards and bullies, or they wouldn't require brute force to make their wonderful, "progressive" schemes work.

In this, of course, they are no different from George Bush and his orcs.

As it is, the next four to eight years are going to be unrelenting hell for anybody who truly values freedom. What awaits us on the other side of that, even I can't guess, and I'm a good guesser. But at this moment, just before the coming storm, I can't overstate the importance of chilling the enemies of liberty by making our opposition felt right now.

Talk, write, call. Remember all the things I wrote in my two "birdcage" essays. Talk, write, call—as if your life depended on it.

Because it does.


"Bottom of the Birdcage" —

"Relining America's Birdcage" —

Four-time Prometheus Award-winner L. Neil Smith has been called one of the world's foremost authorities on the ethics of self-defense. He is the author of 25 books, including The American Zone, Forge of the Elders, Pallas, The Probability Broach, Hope (with Aaron Zelman), and his collected articles and speeches, Lever Action, all of which may be purchased through his website "The Webley Page" at

Ceres, an exciting sequel to Neil's 1993 Ngu family novel Pallas was recently completed and is presently looking for a literary home.

Neil is presently working on Ares, the middle volume of the epic Ngu Family Cycle, and on Roswell, Texas, with Rex F. "Baloo" May.

The stunning 185-page full-color graphic-novelized version of The Probability Broach, which features the art of Scott Bieser and was published by BigHead Press has recently won a Special Prometheus Award. It may be had through the publisher, at, or at


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